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Here's Why You're Experiencing Throttling on Your Older iPhone Device

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Users of older iPhone models may find their devices to be a disappointment. Although their device was very promising the first time they put it to use, the same cannot be said about these devices right now. Apart from having a slow device, some users even complain of their device's battery not being as optimal as it once was. 

And as it turns out, Apple is deliberately doing this to older iPhones. According to Mashable, the chips found in older iPhone models are prevented from churning out their full processing power according to certain conditions. As explained by the company, this only occurs on older iPhone models whose batteries have already degraded. Apple pointed out that this action is necessary to stop these devices from unexpectedly shutting down.

As a user of an older iPhone model, it can be very upsetting to find your phone not functioning as well as it used to. In some cases, you'd have to carry around your charger to ensure that you don't run out of battery juice during a time you really need it the most. And if that's not all, opening up apps can take quite a long time. With all of these frustrations, you're given the choice to accept it or switch to a newer iPhone model or to another device ultimately. 

Apple was left with no choice but to confirm this matter when developer John Poole's benchmarks study was published. Initially, Poole was inspired to perform this study after this Reddit thread. In the study, Poole carefully considered how various iPhone models performed and how each of these differed greatly on which software it was running on. And as revealed, many of these devices had a worse benchmark compared to the ratings established when they were still brand new. 

A vital reason for the bad benchmarks these older iPhone models produced can be attributed to the lithium-ion batteries included in them. Since these batteries tend to degrade every time they are charged and discharged, they are unable to be as optimal as they were from the start. Looking at it on a daily basis, the degradation is barely noticeable. In fact, it can easily be mislooked. But after a year of this, it starts to take its toll. Particularly on processor-heavy tasks, you'd find that your iPhone's battery discharges quite rapidly.

So what makes Poole's study so important? If you're unfamiliar with his name, Poole is the founder of Primate Labs. They are responsible for creating the smartphone benchmark tests under Geekbench, which are considered as the de facto industry standard. This alone makes his study so credible and notable.

For this specific purpose, Poole particularly took a look at the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 7. Under his assessment, it was discovered that these two devices first encountered performance degeneration with the iOS 10.2.1 update released early this year. Ironically, the update was released to address the random shutdown issue that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S encountered.

While this update did not affect the performance of the iPhone 7, the iOS 11.2 update released this month did. But as compared with the immense degeneration that happened on the iPhone 6S with iOS 10.2.1, this update did not seem to be as widespread. One good reason for this is that a number of iPhone 7 owners have not yet updated their devices. For some of those that have, however, it could be because they did not run benchmark tests with Geekbench.

As pointed out by Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch, benchmarking tests are not reflective of real world performance. When running a benchmark test, the power management features of the phone will be artificially triggered. But when using your phone normally, you won't trigger this effect.

On a statement sent to Mashable, Apple explained that their main goal is to "deliver the best experience for customers." And in order to do that, the company has pushed out updates that promise to smoothen instantaneous peaks "only when needed." As a result, the device is prevented from unexpected shut downs.

But even though Apple has explained this action, not too many people know about its battery replacement guidelines. Apple has designed its batteries to retain 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. Once the battery becomes defective is no longer able to meet those parameters, customers may replace their batteries for free if the device is still under warranty or if they have AppleCare+. Otherwise, a $79 battery replacement is in effect along with a $6.95 shipping fee under their battery replacement service.

For its part, Apple does send out a notification once the device's battery has degenerated enough to the point where performance gets affected already. But because most iPhone users do not have any way of knowing why their device is slowing down or the mere fact that they can replace their battery, they end up replacing the entire device instead. This becomes a much more expensive solution. Apple definitely needs to make the notification more noticeable to its users. On hindsight, this could be a clever strategy to entice more people to buy newer iPhone models. Hopefully not.


Source: Mashable, Mac Rumors

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49 comments:

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  1. Android phones slow down in 3 or 4 months.

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    1. Source? Any phone will slow down if you load it up with junkware and crazy "broken screen joke" etc apps....

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    2. My Android phone is almost a year old and it's still fast. Try again ...

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    3. Can you provide some proof?

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  2. the conspiracy is TRUE that apple really screws up your older iphone to make you buy the latest version.

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    1. It has to do with battery life, so if you replace your battery you won't have a slower phone. Also, this isn't "throttling" it is a hardware slowdown, not data speed.

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    2. "Throttling" is not specific to data speed. It's often used to describe reducing the speed of a process, including the clock speed of a CPU. A search for "thermal throttling" or "CPU throttling" will show that this usage is common.

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    3. at least two class action lawsuits will argue in part that the conspiracy is true. imho, apple has really jumped the shark. doesn't matter what the outcome will be with the class action lawsuits, because apple will probably get away with only needing to offer a discounted battery replacement program, but apple's reputation will be shredded for years. this is worst than samsung's exploding note7 batteries of last year. this is instead going back several iphones to now include going back to iphone 5 according to the second class action lawsuit. iphones slowing down or suddenly shutting down or randomly rebooting, because apple is putting in bad buggy code that is suppose to compensate for batteries getting old but is instead ruining the iphone experience, are showing that apple has lost its focus. apple really screwed up with its surprising lack of quality control.

      personally have been a long time diehard iphone user, but not anymore with iOS 11 ruining my iphone, and apple taking forever to fix things in iOS 11, have since moved over to android as my my main phone. even with android's so-called fragmentation problem, that is more stable than having to deal with trying each disappointing iteration version of iOS 11 where each do not fix the problem.

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    4. It's too bad that in America, where you can choose to dump coffee in your own lap and file a frivolous lawsuits and get rich from it, that the mere filing of a lawsuit has nothing to do with whether or not Apple did anything wrong.

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    5. Totally agree. I’m so clueless I’ll never remember to charge my old iPhone battery before going out in cold weather. I would rather have my iPhone shut down or even break than just slow down. That way I will actually realize there is something wrong and can show my wife that I do need a new iPhone. About lawsuits well out of work lawyers have to make a living too so they can afford an iPhone X. They’re the only ones who will get a payday here. Customers might get a $25 iTunes card. Thanks for warning us Apple will crash over this. I’ll buy an old iPhone and change the battery so this won’t affect me. Wait....never mind.

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    6. the filing of the class action lawsuits shows that people are so pissed off that they are willing go that route to spank apple for really screwing up and breaking people's trust.

      btw no one cares if only you spilled that coffee on your lap. spilling coffee on your one single lap does not constitute a class action products liability case on the same level as the iphone class action cases. so just change your coffee stained pants while the rest of us wait for our eventual-most-likely-to-receive-in-the-future-itunes-gift-cards that would be good towards a new official battery replacement for our iphones.

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    7. "the filing of the class action lawsuits shows that people are so pissed off..."

      Not really. The deceptive thing about class action lawsuits is tgat the overwhelming majority of the people named as plaintiffs never actually participated and don't even know that the lawsuit even exists.

      The system is rigged to encourage inflated frivolous lawsuits like this.

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    8. McDonalds deliberately set its coffee machines to undrinkable scalding hot temperatures in effort to prevent customers from asking for free refills while in the restaurant. The lady in the lawsuit suffered from third degree burns. If you think the lawsuit was frivolous, how about I dump some water on your lap just a few degrees short of boiling and see you feel about it?

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    9. @11:13 AM: Really? A coffee conspiracy at McD? I'm skeptical.
      I always thought coffee is served hot because it tastes better hot. It also has to be brewed hot. Brewing: ~195-205 degrees F. Set to 200. Any hotter and the grounds are scalded. Any cooler and the coffee is not completely extracted. Drinking: 120-140 degrees F. Much hotter, and your taste buds can't appreciate the flavor because of the heat. Much cooler, and it doesn't taste as good.
      Some people ask for extra hot coffee (maybe 180 degrees) because they want it to still be warm when they arrive at destination. Or they just like the sensation of sipping very hot coffee.
      Stella Liebeck suffered in 1992 because of her own clumsiness and negligence (no, don't hold coffee cups between your knees and pop the lid towards you when sitting in a car and wearing cotton sweatpants; DUH). That was truly unfortunate. But of course she and her attorney could not miss the opportunity to get some money from a big corporation. The case was said by some to be an example of frivolous litigation; ABC News called the case "the poster child of excessive lawsuits." A jury awarded her $160,000 for injuries and $2.7M Punitive Damages. The judge reduced the total to $640,000, and they settled for an undisclosed amount before the appeal concluded.
      Hopefully the publicity has helped prevent similar self-inflicted injuries over the past 25 years. And yes, maybe McDonalds' lawyers said to turn the coffee pot down a little. They sure added more 'WARNING labels for dummies.'

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    10. McDonalds set its machines to the recommended temperature. The lady who filed the frivolous lawsuit had night and drank it many times from this same McDonalds... before she chose to spill it on her lap.

      A textbook example of a frivolous lawsuit if there ever was one.

      Delete
    11. Sanctimonious BaristaDecember 23, 2017 at 1:53 PM

      @11:55 AM: well stated.

      @11:13 AM: have you ever considered personal responsibility for ones on actions? As for your example, of course the person to blame is the one who dumps the hot water. Thanks for helping prove this point. What a strange brew you posted...

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  3. How about user replaceable batteries? This is planned obsolescence at work!

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    1. No - you will never get replaceable batteries with iPhones, and I'm glad.
      iPhones are stronger, thinner, safer and look nicer the way they are.
      Apple will not screw them up with extra openings, case panels and thicker designs.
      Others copy Apple's lead with this, so deal with it. It's not that hard to change an iPhone battery up through 6S if you have the right tools and good eyesight. There are several excellent guides with pictures. Get an iFixit kit.
      The water-resistant ones are harder - hire a pro if you're clumsy or risk-averse.

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    2. Having it so you can't replace the batteries is a severe design flaw. We don't put up with this for TV remotes, where you throw away the remote if the battery dies, and we shouldn't put up with it with phones.

      It has nothing to do with anything being thinner stronger or safer.

      It's just one of those things where it's a bad idea, like missing the headphone jack, and then Apple says that it's actually a good thing and some people who are too much of a fanboy drink it up.

      Like you maybe?

      And about the phones being thin, it has resulted Apple phones being limp and bendable, and ridiculously weak batteries. It's another design flaw for who-knows-what purpose.

      A phone is really poorly designed if you can risk wrecking it by doing something as basic as merely changing a battery. Again refer to the example of the TV remote control. A much Superior design when it comes to the battery. You can change it without any difficulty or worry about wrecking the device.

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    3. "No - you will never get replaceable batteries with iPhones, and I'm glad."

      You lose nothing by having the design superiority of removable batteries.

      What you gain having sealed batteries is the knowledge that your phone is a "disposable device" much more so than the ones with removable batteries, and there is at least this one way in which the user experience of a $29.95 burner at the 7-11 is superior to your $1000 iPhone.

      Delete
    4. " It's not that hard to change an iPhone battery up through 6S if you have the right tools and good eyesight."

      Good eyesight?? Tools???? A blind person could change batteries in a flashlight... or even an LG V20, for that matter. With no tools! Why does it have to be so difficult? Answer: not at all, unless the tech company is botching their design.

      Delete
  4. I have had my Verizon Note 3 for over a year and it has been running well.

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  5. so, this is business plan to sell new devices!

    Android or iPhone, does not matter!

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    Replies
    1. No, it's just a false rumor to get attention. 'Phone bashing' is a sport, apparently.

      Delete
    2. Apple throttling CPU speeds in phones with old batteries is real. It's been documented in controlled testing and acknowledged by Apple. Whether it's done to improve the user experience, as Apple says, or to accelerate the phone replacement cycle, as cynics claim, is open to debate, but the slowdown itself is real.

      Delete
  6. I experienced the cold shutdown problem with both of our iPhone 6S in very cold conditions with low battery charge. Replacing the battery solved the problem on both phones.
    Apple pays Nokia (networks) about $300M/year for patent use. Maybe this software is covered under one of the Nokia patents.

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  7. From the company that throttles performance of its Qualcomm chipsets to throttling battery performance, not surprising.

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  8. You know that you've made it as a celebrity when people start raosting you.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, even Sprint and T-Mobile should be grateful for all the validation they get here on PP PN.

      Delete
  9. Does the speed of the phone go back up if the battery is replaced?

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    Replies
    1. If you put in a Ferrari battery, yes. But not if you use a Volare battery.

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    2. Jon, the serious answer to your question is yes--performance improved.

      Delete
  10. Apple is straight garbage. I feel for people playing in their sandbox...

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    1. Android + Google apps and services on your phone = fragmented Spyware. I feel sorry for people unknowingly giving up their PII to save a few dollars up front, then losing most of the savings in faster depreciation, early obsolescence when their can't get the latest firmware, and lack of security.

      Delete
  11. How slow of a speed decrease are we talking about? I use a 6S on Virgin and haven't noticed much of a speed decline updated to ios 11. Hopefully someone can document this better and show an example of this on Youtube. If its that bad, hopefully some uproar will begin to pressurize Apple to stop.

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    1. First, you need to be along time iPhone user to see it, what I mean by long iPhone user I mean you have to use the same phone for at least 2 major update (like IOS9 to IOS10). Second, make no change like no download any extra apps. Eventually, you will see app open slower than before, if you open regular app like phone and text message it will pretty much the same but when you open something like Facebook, NBC etc whatever the 3rd party app that has a lot of image, then you will notice the difference. For example, in IOS9 Facebook probably only take 4 seconds to open, now IOS10 will take 7 or 8 seconds and sometime app will not open at all.

      In short you can see the difference.

      Delete
  12. Maybe sometimes companies may wish for your use of their device to be smooth from beginning to end. Smooth does not mean not slow, smooth meaning no lags.
    So, if the battery is bad, and it is not giving the amount of energy needed to run at full throttle for 10 hours but only at 2, then, the software may put itself into a manditory power save mode to allow the phone to run for 10 hours.
    Why did the older phone only allow 250 contacts, gow much space does a contact really take?
    In my opinion, it was more about processing power than actual space, if on the older phone someone actually put in 3000 contacts, the phone may have lagged, and then the bad reviews would come in that the phone does not work well. So, they just said 250 contacts and thats it, so, anyone who uses the phone with only 250 contacts in, will ALWAYS see great performance in the phone. This is a very smart move on their end to do this, as it is very hard to discern the actual reason for a bad review. Will anyone actually go and troubleshoot with the one who gave the bad review to see why they gave it?

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  13. User replaceable batteries makes the phone larger. No?
    So, are we okay with going back to thicker phones?
    Are we?
    Really?

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    Replies
    1. "User replaceable batteries makes the phone larger. No?"

      No.

      Delete
    2. FYI, the iPhone X is 7.7mm thick, the LG V20 is 7.6. The latter has a removable battery.

      Delete
  14. I'm totally upset about this; no, OUTRAGED, and will complain everywhere. I love to run benchmarks outside in cold weather that require peak performance from my iPhone, and my iPhone 6S has a 4-year old battery that only has 60% original max capacity. I would much rather have my phone just crash outside in cold weather when it has a low battery charge than give me slow benchmark test results. What good is that!
    I am going to demand Apple give me a new iPhone for free. I don't know for sure that the cheap batteries I buy from unknown sources on eBay will fix this problem, and I don't want to pay for a new battery until mine is totally shot. Let's ALL demand new iPhones!

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    Replies
    1. go android. personally gave up on apple after iOS 11 screwed up my iphone. my iphone is now my secondary backup phone because apple made it not as reliable with the screw up they did with iOS 11. apple your name is mud and your iphones are clunky now.

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    2. I'm upset, but not THAT upset. I don't want to REALLY get screwed.

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    3. Was it here that I read that people switch from iPhone to Android because of the updates to the iPhone OS. And people switch from Android to iPhone because of the lack of updates to the Android OS.

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    4. Sounds like someone is having a bad life.

      More important things in life than a silly battery!

      Delete
  15. Then the ONLY reason why manufacturers made the phone with non-user replaceabme batteries is to get us to pay a lot for a new phone or to pay a lot to have someone change it for us?

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    1. Or it could be the result of design quirks by the Cardinals of the Ivory Tower in Cupertino. Determined to do such things as make sure that the edges of the phone are super smooth or something, even if it ends up wrecking Havoc with the user experience.


      Such as making changing the battery ridiculously difficult and risky.

      There been lots of other boneheaded design decisions in the past from Apple. The worst one I remember was on the first Mac, they replace a disc eject button with a pinhole.

      I guess it look nicer to not have a button on the front of the Mac. Regardless of it was a lot harder to use. And every College computer I saw that had Macintosh computers had a pile of bent paper clips sitting in front of the unit below over the pinhole eject was.

      Delete
  16. It's almost hilarious that people are getting this upset over a phone with a fake apple on it.

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  17. If you can afford to overpay for an Apple product you can afford to replace a $75 battery ya bunch of tightwads.

    ReplyDelete
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